Old fashioned aprons would probably have to mean something that is not new. Aprons that were worn by our ancestors and even in times before that. One thing is for certain, aprons have always been necessary as a means of keeping oneself clean and tidy during particular duties.
Old fashioned aprons were generally a lot bigger than they are today. They would have fancy ruffles and bows and extras on them that would make them appear more like a dress or full garment than just something to keep you clean! If you look for patterns for aprons for styles even from the 1950ís, you will find a large, rather flamboyant type of cover all, probably because back then, housework was much more readily done than it is today. Modern conveniences like washing machines, and dishwashers have cut down considerably the amount of housework that needs to be done. For this reason, aprons are not quite as popular as they once were. Back in the 1950ís when housework took up a large part of the average housewifeís day, of course fashions would have been prevalent, along with other styles of clothing that one wears a lot.
These days, one is interested in buying a functional apron, one that perhaps is waterproof and plain that either male or female would wear. The chef type apron, probably just white or black or striped. Back in the days though, old fashioned aprons would have large ruffled frills over each shoulder for example, have plenty of frills around the pockets, consist of several other types of frill and probably also be in a garish flowery pattern, very colorful and very feminine. The only place a man would wear an apron like that would be in a pantomime!
What we are investigating here then is how women would have completed much of the housework back then which is very interesting isnít it? Before these times, aprons were still very frilly, look at the type that maids would have worn, or even cooks back in the time where a family would employ a staff to look after them. You would never see a butler wearing an apron or a gardener, so if an apron depicts work, who really did all the work? Interesting...
So we have discovered that old fashioned aprons were normally larger and more frilly than they are today, were generally more fashionable in the 1950ís and were mostly worn by women. I wonder if Gordon Ramsay would have worn one a hundred years ago... with all those frills around, the mind boggles!
Old fashioned aprons would be a lot harder to make as well. A pattern for an old fashioned apron would be rather extensive as all the separate frills would have to be cut and sewn individually and applied to the apron as it was constructed. What about ironing an old fashioned apron? It could be made from one of those fabrics that creases easily... and who would have to iron them back in the days when there were maids, who ironed the maids apron? If the maid ironed her own apron, she would need a spare and that would mean two to iron!
I am very glad that we live in a world full of modern conveniences so that we donít have all this excess housework these days, thank goodness for fabrics that donít need ironing. No wonder the old fashioned apron is just that, old fashioned! Hail the new fashioned apron!